Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reviewing the Science of Climate Change.

This is just to reassure Rodney Hide that while the select committee on climate change will not be reviewing the science of climate change, scientists will continue to.

I spent last week at the Australian Institute of Physics Congress in Adelaide. There were several great plenaries. One of them by Professor Marvin Geller of Stony Brook University in New York reviewed the effect of variations in solar intensity on the earth's average temperature. He told us that this effect is not large enough to explain observed warming. The Australian (which often runs infuriating articles on this issue) reported on this and I particularly liked this little comment from Geller

According to Professor Geller, sceptics are incorrect when they claim CO2 cannot cause warming as it comprises only a small, though increasing, fraction of the atmosphere.

In fact, CO2 is highly reactive in the atmosphere, he said. "Just because it's a small fraction doesn't mean it's unimportant. If you don't believe me, try surviving in a room with a small concentration of cyanide gas."

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